Five-year term ‘the price’ in firearm incident

A 27-year-old Kihei man who brought a gun to a Wailuku home and told people confronting him that he just wanted to see his children was sentenced to five years in prison Aug. 28.

Second Circuit Judge Richard Bissen followed a plea agreement in sentencing Kealiiwahamana Neula in the firearms case and resentenced him in a previous drug and abuse case because his conviction in the current case was a violation of his probation. Terms will be served concurrently.

Neula must spend one year and eight months in prison before he is eligible for parole as a repeat offender.

“I like to apologize for my actions,” Neula said in court. “I know everything I did was wrong.”

Deputy Public Defender Jim Rouse said Neula got a “big break in the case” with the plea agreement that dismissed the most serious charges in the case. But Rouse said time in prison will teach Neula a lesson as well.

“He’s got to pay the price for now,” he said. “He’s got a few years ahead of him to think.”

Although Deputy Prosecutor Lewis Littlepage asked the judge to follow the plea agreement in the case, he added that there have been repeated failed attempts to get Neula to undergo drug rehabilitation.

In the recent case, Neula pleaded no contest to owning/possessing a prohibited firearm, owning/possessing prohibited firearm ammunition, place to keep a pistol or revolver and two counts of second-degree reckless endangering, court records show.

The charges stem from an incident on June 3, 2012, around 6:30 a.m. at a home on Kuhio Place in Wailuku.

Court records show that Neula showed up at the home and was asked to leave but then took a gun out of the pocket of his sweater. When told to leave, Neula said he just wanted to see his children who were at the home.

At one point, a witness said Neula threatened the witness, saying, “I going to shoot you, I going to shoot you.”

The witness and another man tried to take away the firearm from Neula and eventually were successful with Neula yelling, “shoot me, shoot me.”

Neula then left in a vehicle driven by another person.

The gun used in the incident was a black Colt .38 caliber revolver loaded with two .38 caliber bullets, court records show.